Yesterday, Peter Gammons appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” and had the following exchange with Dan Patrick (you can here the full audio here)…

DP: Is there a better rivalry with the Yankees and Rays than the Yanks and Red Sox?

PG: No, because the Rays can’t…the Rays might draw 20,000 people for the Yankees. But I think the ratings on the station in Tampa, the ESPN station that carries the Yankees games actually are better than the Rays games. I mean it’s terrible.

There is only one problem with this statement. It is dead wrong. In fact, it is not even close to true.

The fine folks at Joe Bucs Fan forwarded some numbers to us:

On Monday night, the Rays and Indians on 620-AM did an 8.2 rating, #1 in the market, while the Yankees and Red Sox on 1040-AM were dead last with a 0.0 rating. The television numbers paint a similar picture, with Sun Sports pulling a 6.7 while the local ratings on ESPN for Yankees-Red Sox was a 2.3

Meanwhile, Gammons adds that the Rays “might draw 20,000 for the Yankees.” And yet, on a Monday night against a non-divisional foe, the Rays drew more than 18,000.

Tom Jones of The St. Pete Times reached out to Gammons via email, who was quick to lay the blame elsewhere for his false info…

“I am very happy to hear:
1. The information I was given by two people is wrong — and I raise my hand as wrong.
2. People care about the Rays.”

Well, it was nice of Gammons to clarify his comments for the Bay Area audience. In the meantime, the myth that the Rays have no fans continues to resonate among Dan Patrick’s national audience.

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12 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    I think Gammons should be required to find a national outlet through which to announce his mea culpa. I'm so sick of the "Rays have no fans" trope, which was annoying when 11,000 people showed up for weeknight game, but seems really misleading when over 18,000 show up, and many more watch on TV.

    But finally at least one national blog has written something about the Rays that doesn't focus either on poor attendance or on the equally tiresome "Crawford's leaving" theme:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Create-a-Caption-The-Rays-have-a-nose-for-winni?urn=mlb,241910

    On the other hand, Rays seem to do best when flying "under the radar" of the national press, so perhaps we are all better off if no one (but us) notices who's in first place.

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  2. Joe D. says:

    How long can the national media continue to bash St Pete/Tampa Bay for bad attendance...Sunday night some joker on XM (Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton... Total idiot) was bashing the Rays for bad attendance after the Rays drew something like 74k over a 3 game set against an awful team... and he was bringing up attendance figures of 11k-14k... It just gets old quick...

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  3. Alex says:

    kick to lay the blame elsewhere for his false info…

    I think you mean quick there

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  4. Don says:

    "the MYTH that the Rays have no fans"....on national shows is bad enough...
    But the local media (radio especially) HERE is worse!...Listen to their uninformed babbling about attendance and of course how "bad" the Trop is..I wonder if they figured out (or care) if the Rays leave...What are they going to talk about??

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  5. Zach says:

    And those numbrs are with the Yankees facing the Sox! I would love to see what the numbers are when the Rays face the Sox and the Yankees are playing the Indians.

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  6. Amanda says:

    I linked your blog post to the DP contact information. Hopefully, he'll mention it, but I'm not holding my breath.

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  7. Gus says:

    There is no denying that Boston and New York are superior markets. Of course they are. But their franchises don't cost $185M. Lower cost basis, lower income and smaller population, (far) lower stadium lease costs. The Rays make more profit than NYY (because Steinbrenner overspends) and are one of the more profitable franchises in the league. Plus, they are darn good and will be darn good for a long time because they build a team the old fashioned way and have avoided (PB excepted) blowing money on steroid freaks whose numbers decline when they go off the juice.

    I cannot fathom why the national media find the Trop-fans-Rays so offensive because not every seat is filled with some clown from the mail room and his drunk buddy using the company tickets. Just like the Hurricanes used to offend the Notre Dame fans by winning the national title with little local support (and outrageous conduct), the power structure is threatened by the Rays and their post-steroid management policies. Gammons has been a Boston hack forever (he is on the post-game telecasts for goodness sakes), so he's just bitter that summer 2010 in Boston is going to feature a 4th place team playing for 2011.

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  8. Brian H says:

    mark the calendar for july 30- aug1, gurantee the trop averages 30k a night. if not sells out everyone of those games.

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